05-26-2008 12:29 PM CET - IT, New Media & Software
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RedPost Launches Wicker: A Customized Ubuntu for Digital Signs and Photo Frames

Press release from: RedPost inc.

GOSHEN, Ind. -- RedPost inc., an Indiana-based web startup, today announced the launch of Wicker, their customized version of Ubuntu that runs on their digital signs.

Eric Kanagy, CEO, led the project to develop Wicker. "We've customized Ubuntu to make it work like a digital sign or photo frame and we figured we may as well offer it to the world. It's nothing too fancy -- it just does what it's supposed to do."

According to Kanagy, "Ubuntu arguably supports the most hardware and has one of the largest development communities behind it -- that's why we switched from DSL." Wicker's precursor was a customized version of DamnSmallLinux that run on the RedPost/Kit, a do-it-yourself digital photo frame built for the Linux hacker that SlashGear described as a "modder's wet dream."

Wicker is set up to boot from a USB flash drive and uses the open source browser Firefox as it's display engine -- essentially, anything that's on the web can load through Wicker. Optionally, Wicker connects to RedPost's Corktop software to load playlists and schedule content. Local image and URL options are also available.

A small team spanning ten time zones developed Wicker, starting in December of last year. Wicker remains in beta, with the first beta version released mid-April and the latest this week.

Customizations to Ubuntu to create Wicker include:
- Slimming down of Ubuntu to fit on 1GB flash drive
- loads Ubuntu from flash drive into memory and runs out of memory -- no hard drive required
- 5 minute config process running Apache/PHP to configure Wicker's network and other settings
- simplified Wifi support
- Use of Fluxbox as the window manager
- Firefox cache and settings optimization

Planned features under development include:
- Integration with Ubuntu's network manager to provide additional network configuration options
- Scheduling of on/off time of the screen
- Graphics driver optimization
- Security improvements: locking down all ports with firewall
- MAC address displayed on config screens

More information on Wicker is available at:
theredpost.com/wicker/
launchpad.net/wicker/
sourceforge.net/projects/redpost/

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For more information, contact:
Eric Kanagy, CEO
office: 574-971-4753
email: press@theredpost.com

RedPost Inc. is a start-up software company out of Goshen, Ind., that aims to replace the world's bulletin boards with digital signs.

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